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Flying High --> She said YES!!!

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3Richmond

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
22
Hi everyone,


I wanted to share my experience with purchasing my ring online. My search started two months ago. Like many others I started out focusing only on colour and clarity and didn’t know anything about cut. After spending many many hours on this forum, I was able to nail down what I was looking for. I also short-listed NiceIce, Abazias, and WhiteFlash as companies I wanted to deal with. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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The following is what I learned that might help others:/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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1)As I was purchasing from Canada, I inquired about any additional fees that may be incurred over and above duties and taxes. Make sure there’s no hidden charges and that any “fees” are justified./www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

2)Sites like Abazias and WhiteFlash have an extensive database of diamonds. I wasted my time going through numerous searches only to find out that the diamond was sold. I highly suggest contacting these companies directly with your requirements and they will do the leg work for you. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

3)Inquire about diamonds that have GIA certs with a sarin report or an AGS cert. You need this information so you can generate an HCA score./www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

4)Check the Price Stat section on Pricescope to ensure that your stone is not being offered for a lower price. Your vendor of choice should match the price. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

5)Know what you are comfortable purchasing (cut, colour, clarity & carat) within your budget so that you can make a quick decision to buy once you find a diamond that matches your requirements. I’ve missed out on several stones because I hesitated. That being said don’t buy if it doesn’t feel right. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

6)Create a spreadsheet – I know this is not for everyone but a spreadsheet made my decision MUCH easier. I created a spreadsheet containing all the information that I needed to know about the diamond (ie. vendor, item#, ctw, colour, clarity, cut, price, price per carat, cert., polish, symmetry, table, dept, crown, pavillion, culet, girdle, HCA score, DIY cut grading, & notes). Creating a spreadsheet allows you to understand quickly how diamonds are priced. It’s amazing how systematic it is. You also understand which companies charge more per carat and if that additional cost is justified. If a diamonds is priced so low beyond the average price per cart for an equivalent diamond then it’s too good to be true or there’s an undesirable characteristic (ie. thin girdle, strong fluorescence, clarity enhanced etc.). You only will know this if you create a spreadsheet and/or have years of experience in this industry. Being Canadian, the spreadsheet can also convert the U.S. figures to Canadian dollars. I love my spreadsheet!/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

7)Check the vendor’s qualifications and business history. Check the Better Business Bureau, Jeweler’s Vigilance, BBB Online Reliability Program, and any other organization that help regulate the jewelry business. E-mail some of their customers who have posted testimonials on Pricescope./www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

Before wiring any money, call the vendor’s bank just for your piece of mind. You want the bank to confirm that the vendor you are dealing with has a long history with the bank and that they are in good standing. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

9)View diamonds in stores with similar parameters as your online diamonds. See as many diamonds as you can so you get comfortable with seeing differences in quality. At the start I could not tell the difference in appearance between a poor cut diamond versus an excellent cut diamond. It’s an issue of seeing enough diamonds and learning what is beautiful to you. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

10)Get your diamond evaluated by an independent appraiser. As soon as you know you’re getting diamond, book an appointment right away. These people are busy! /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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So who did I ended up buying from?/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]


I could have easily bought from any of the vendors I’ve listed but it came down to availability and their response time to my inquiries. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]


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I want to thank Judi and Brain from WhiteFlash for being so incredible!/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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Judi was extremely responsive with my e-mails and calls. I always felt that I was first on her priority list. She over communicated everything, which I love and appreciate. She would leave messages for me on my work number, cell phone and e-mail. Both Judi and Brain understood how important this purchase was to me and was respectful and patient in dealing with me. Though WhiteFlash may not have some of their diamonds in-house, Brain the cutter would review any diamond that you select. For those of you who don’t know, Brain is the creator of the Cut Above branded H&A diamond. With his background I was very confident that he would be able to tell me about my non H&A diamond selection. He was super friendly and very knowledgeable. Speaking to Brain was great because he gave me lots of information to consider, both good and bad. My goal speaking to Brain was to confirm that there weren’t any negative qualities or issues that would make the diamond a bad purchase. My worries were gone after my half hour conversation with him. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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At the end of this post are some pictures of the ring. These pictures were taken by WhiteFlash and sent to me via e-mail so I knew what my ring would look like in advance. I was thrilled with the ring when I finally open the box. It’s bright and fiery as Brain indicated on my conversation with him. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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The diamond is an ideal cut 1.05 carat H colour, eye clean SI1 set in a platinum cathedral sleek line solitaire. I would highly recommend this setting for those who have girlfriends with small fingers. It’s so elegant and highlights the diamond. The ring is a size 4.25. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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How I proposed to my girlfriend./www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

This pass weekend in Canada was a long weekend so my girlfriend and I spent it in Niagara Falls. On Sunday morning I woke her up early and told her that we had to go somewhere. She’s not a morning person so this was hard to do. It was a perfect sunny day with a clear blue sky. We drove about 5 minutes out of Niagara Falls to Niagara Helicopters Limited. She was so excited when she realized that we would be taking a helicopter tour of the falls. Then she asked me if I really wanted to do this, as I’m terrified of heights. I said yes. Earlier in the week I phoned a head to arrange that we would have a helicopter to ourselves and that we had special headsets with microphones so we can talk. While above the Horseshoe falls, I proposed. And she said Yes!! She was completely taken back and in shock. It was perfect! We were both on natural highs after the helicopter landed. Afterwards we had Sunday brunch in the Rainbow room over looking the falls. Just perfect. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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Sorry for long post. I found these posts helpful for me and I just wanted to contribute my story. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

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3Richmond

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fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Congrats - sounds beautiful - pics please!

I like the helicopter ride idea!
 

djgaloot

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Messages
56
Beautiful ring! I love the simple, elegant lines.
Congratulations and may your life together be wonderful beyond all your dreams.
 

djgaloot

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Messages
56
I studied and "pre-shopped" for awhile and entered all the data into a spreadsheet so I would be comfortable making a fast decision. There were several vendors high on my list but I also ended up with Whiteflash. Excellent customer service!
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,357
Lovely ring! Congratulations! And thanks for your buying tips; they should be quite useful to many consumers.
 

anniediamond

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2003
Messages
18
Wow--it's really a beautiful ring! Congratulations and thank you so much for the lesson on buying diamonds on-line. It is most helpful for those of us that are "self-educating" and shopping the net.
all the best to you...
Annie
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Just lovely! So classy and elegant! And yes, you're righ, Judi is simply great!
 

pqcollectibles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,441
Magnificent ring! Simple, classic, elegant lines that simply showcase that beautiful diamond!


I bought from White Flash also with Lesley as my primary contact. I spoke with Judi on several occasions and she is just wonderful! Brian is the DUDE. Takes time to physically discuss diamonds over the phone with customers and isn't cheap with his time. Excellent, personable service that makes you feel you are their single most important customer!


Great tips for novice buyers. I was especially good in wading knee deep in charts and articles I had printed off the net. You've got a system to keep everything in one neat place, easily accessible for comparison.


Congrats and heartfelt Best Wishes to you both!
 

3Richmond

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
22
Thank you everyone for all your support!

The ring is still in the box as I won't let it out until it's insured!
I've been bugging the reception every day to see if there's a dropped appointment I can take.

It's weird for such a large city as Toronto that there's only two diamond appraisers - Harold Weinstein & Gem Scan. Both have two week waiting lists.

Is it customary for me to withhold my AGS certification until the appraisal is done? or should I just give it Harold upfront?
 

3Richmond

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
22
I know! It’s not fair but we don’t want to take any changes.


That’s why I’m hounding the appraiser to get an earlier appointment!


Who knew they would be this busy.


/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]It’s worn only in the house for the time being.

 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Why don't you use the sales receipt? This should be sufficient until you get a formal appraisal.
 

3Richmond

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
22
fire&ice, thanks for the suggestion.

I just spoke to my insurance company and they can't insure it without a Canadian apprasial. The ring is currently insured under my house insurance but the maximum value for any one item in the home is much lower than the value of the ring.
 
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